Category Archives: cranberries

Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Cranberry Shortbread

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We’ve made it; today is Christmas and your holiday baking should be done. But, if your like me and you love to hide out in your kitchen and bake, your still at it. I know I am. But today’s recipe is super quick and filled with holiday cheer. Merry Christmas!

These buttery cookies from Bake or Break are perfect for your last minute baking.  There are only a handful of ingredients which are mixed together in a single bowl. Allow the dough to chill for a bit then bake away. It really couldn’t be easier. You can even make the dough several days ahead of time and keep it wrapped tightly in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake your cookies. And the results? Rich, buttery and filled with cranberry deliciousness in every bite.

CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried cranberries

  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the flour, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until combined. Dough will be crumbly but will hold together when pinched.
  • Mix in the cranberries.
  • Gather dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough to a 10-inch square, about 1/4-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares.
  • Carefully transfer squares to baking sheets.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields: 25- 2 in ch cookies

 

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Soft & Chewy Vanilla-Orange Cranberry Cookies

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Christmas is twelve days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Cranberries are a quintessential holiday fruit and and when you pair them with a bit of orange zest you have a sure winner of a holiday cookie. I absolutely adore this cookies from King Arthur Flour. Filled with cranberries, orange zest and toasted pecans, they are chewy and crunchy, sweet and tart….well they are simply delicious. And best of all they are super easy and quick to make. Exactly what you are looking for with Christmas just days away.

SOFT & CHEWY VANILLA-ORANGE CRANBERRY COOKIES
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature3/4 cup sugar

grated peel of 1 medium to large orange

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

  •  Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  •  In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, orange peel, vanilla, baking powder and salt.
  •  Beat in the egg. The mixture may look slightly curdled; that’s OK.
  • Add the flour, cranberries and nuts, stirring until well combined.
  • Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ between them. Using the flat bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten the cookies slightly, to a scant 1/2″ thick.
  • Bake the cookies for 6 to 7 minutes, until they’re barely set, and a light golden brown around the edges. Don’t over-bake; if you do, the cookies will be hard, not soft and chewy. Gently lift one of the cookies and look at the bottom; it shouldn’t be brown. 
  •  Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them right on the pan. If you need a pan to bake the remainder of the cookies, give the cookies about 5 minutes to set before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

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Quick breads make for the perfect breakfast or snack and if you love cranberries and have cranberry orange relish leftover from Thursday’s big feast, this bread is the perfect way to use it up. The bread literally comes together in minutes, giving a whole new meaning to the term “quick”. And thanks to the cranberries and double dose of orange, the results are tangy and moist. My favorite way to eat the bread is warm with a pat of butter melted on top. Pair it with a nice cup of tea and you’ll be ready to power ahead into the holidays.

CRANBERRY-ORANGE QUICK BREAD

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups cranberry orange relish

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Stir in orange juice, butter and egg, mixing well until blended.
  • Stir in the cranberry relish.
  • Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely.

Yields: 16 slices

 

Cranberry Orange Relish

 

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Here’s an oldie but goodie that never fails to earn rave reviews on Thanksgiving.

Who wants that cranberry jelly from a tin can when you can make a fresh and flavorful cranberry relish in a matter of minutes.  This dish always brings me back to my childhood and to this day I can’t eat turkey without thinking of and longing for this side dish.  Try it, you’ll love it.

CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

1 whole organic orange, scrubbed

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

  • Working in batches, pulse the cranberries until coarse in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Place the chopped cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Cut the orange into eight pieces, leaving the peel on but removing any seeds.  Place the orange pieces in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add to the cranberries.
  • Add the salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar to the cranberries; stir to combine.  Cover and allow to sit for several hours or preferably overnight.
  • Stir the relish and add more sugar if needed.

Yields 3 cups

 

Butternut Squash & Kale Saute

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away but are you ready? The turkey and all of the traditional sides might be set but what about adding a healthy and colorful dish to the table? My new go-to dish and one that I will be serving is this kale and butternut squash dish courtesy of Simply Recipes. Because it is only lightly sautéed, the kale remains bright and crisp while the butternut squash adds color and a sweet flavor to the dish. And when you add in cranberries and pecans, this side dish practically becomes a meal unto itself.

It is so good that even the non-kale eaters amongst you will love it. And it will be a dish that you make over and over again long after the Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & KALE SAUTE

4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups sliced red onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 cups thinly sliced kale

1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/2 cup slightly broken up pecans

Salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the squash in a bowl and toss it with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Spread the squash on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and the edges have begun to brown.
  • While the squash is roasting heating the remaining olive oil in a large pot set over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion and toss to coat. Cook for 7 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the remaining balsamic vinegar and the kale to the pot. Stir until the kale and the onions are combined. Let the mixture cook until the kale is just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the roasted squash, the cranberries and the pecans.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Baked Oatmeal

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Mornings are hectic in our household. Between waking up and getting out of the house on time on the first try with everything we need for the day, eating breakfast is often a secondary thought. But eating a good breakfast is important so I am always on the look out for easy and healthy alternatives to our usual standby of cold cereal. My family doesn’t eat eggs and reheated muffins or waffles work if we have leftovers from the previous weekend. In my quest for finding something that would work I came across this baked oatmeal recipe comes from The Yankee Kitchen Ninja. And it turns out that this recipe is a family wide hit.

The oatmeal is softer than a cookie but more solid than a bowl of cooked oats. Eating it with a spoon is recommended but I’ve also included it in lunch bags as a snack where it is eaten with your fingers. I used golden raisins and dried cranberries as my dried fruit of choice but the options are only as limited as your imagination. And best of all this recipe is super easy and fast to make. Meaning you can whip up a batch in no time at all (you could even make it first thing in the morning and have it on the table for breakfast if you are an early riser). So here’s to the most important meal of the day……….

Baked Oatmeal

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup milk

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the oats, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the raisins and cranberries.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir thoroughly.
  • Pour the contents into a lightly greased 9 x 9 baking pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and firm.

Serves: 9

Cranberry- Pumpkin Scones

scones

For me autumn is all about baking and my favorite recipe (and ingredient) resource is the  King Arthur Flour company. First and foremost their recipes are always delicious, because after all, who wants to go through the effort of baking something only to have it emerge from the oven to a ho-hum response. Secondly, their recipes are tested and are often accompanied by step by step pictures which allow even the most novice baker to bake up outstanding results. And if this isn’t enough, bakers can send them an email asking about the recipes or why they may have gotten the results they did. What’s not to love?

Of course, the recipes are great year around but this time of year I find myself regularly checking out their website for new ideas. When I came across this recipe for pumpkin scones I just knew I had to try it. The original recipe called for the addition of chocolate chips, cinnamon chips or dried chopped ginger. Having none of these on hand, I used dried cranberries which resulted in a delicious flaky scone filled with sweet and juicy cranberries. Once again we have a winner so I urge you to try these with the add-ins of your choice. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

CRANBERRY-PUMPKIN SCONES

For the scones:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into a dice

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, chopped

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

2 large eggs

For the topping:

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  • Using a pastry blender in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.
  • Mix in the chopped cranberries
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and eggs till smooth.
  • Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
  • Scrape the dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet, and divide it in half.
  • Round each half into a 6″ circle. The circles should be about 3/4″ thick.
  • Combine the remaining sugar and the cinnamon (for the topping) in a small bowl.
  • Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. 
  • Using a sharp knife slice each circle into 6 wedges. 
  • Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.
  • Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. If you pull one of the scones away from the others, the edges should look baked through, not wet or doughy.
  • Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm.
  • Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired. 

Yield: 12 scones.

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